Tiverton Castle's History
evoke such an immediate feeling of history as Tiverton Castle,
originally built as a motte and bailey castle in 1106 by Richard de
Redvers on orders of Henry I. The de Redvers were the first Norman
Earls of Devon. Henry III visited Tiverton in 1250 and would have
stayed at the Castle with Amicia, Countess of Devon. His
second son, Edmund, married her granddaughter in 1269.
When the line died out in 1293 they were
succeeded as Earls by the Courtenays, who rebuilt it in stone and enlarged the
In 1495 Princess
Katherine Plantagenet, daughter of Edward IV, married William
Courtenay who became Earl of Devon. She died in 1527 and was buried
in St. Peter`s Church next door. She called herself "sister,
daughter and aunt of kings" but, tellingly, not "niece of" the King
in the Car Park. Unfortunately for the Courtenays this royal
marriage led to their eventual downfall in that turbulent age.
Katherine`s son, Henry, was implicated in a plot against Henry VIII
and beheaded in 1539. His son, Edward, aged 12 was imprisoned
in the Tower of London and only released by Queen Mary in 1553.
He and Princess Elizabeth were linked romantically, suspected of
being involved in a
plot against Queen Mary, again imprisoned, but soon released.
He was banished abroad and died in Padua in 1556, and the Castle subsequently had
various owners down the ages.
English Civil War the Castle was besieged by Sir Thomas Fairfax in
1645, and fell to him due to a lucky shot hitting a drawbridge
chain. There is a fine collection of Civil War arms and armour, some
pieces of which can be tried on.
The Carew family owned the
Castle from 1727-1922/23 and during their time they made various
changes to the Castle.
Castle is a peaceful, private house, and the buildings, furnishings
and exhibits reflect the colourful history and development. With
continuing conservation in the Castle and beautiful walled gardens
there is always something new and interesting to see.